To continue our series on strange fictional animals, today I bring you turtleducks and self-folding plesiosaurs. (As evidenced by the title.)
Isn’t it interesting how the oddest things catch on? As an example, I like terrible jokes. Jokes like “A man walked into a bar. Ow.” or “Why did the monkey fall out of the tree? Because it was dead.” or “If it’s a thousand miles to Kansas, how many flapjacks does it take to cover a doghouse? Purple, because ice cream doesn’t have any bones.” (Re: that last one – one of the contractors at my last job asked me it and was outright flabbergasted when I knew the answer. I was his favorite person forever.)
One of my very favorites is “What’s big, green, has four legs, and if it falls out of a tree onto you will kill you?”
The answer is “a pool table” but once, several years ago, I had a friend immediately reply, “An alligator! But why is the alligator in the tree?”
I shared that answer with my writing group and it spawned a running in-joke, a short story anthology, and continues to be a question posed to new members.
That may have seemed like an unrelated tangent (down the bunny trail, as my HS physics teacher used to say) but this brings us back around to Turtleducks. Many years ago, a writing friend of mine was having a bad day, and I decided I would cheer her up, and that the best way to do so would be yell gibberish at her. (My mind is a strange place sometimes.) It did, however, work, and she (and others) latched on to the concept of the turtleduck and they continue to be randomly sprung on people. (Usually at full volume.)
Years later, the turtleduck would be chosen to represent our publishing label at Turtleduck Press. (The alligator in the tree was actually our first choice, but it was too close to already existing publishing labels. I am still slightly in awe that I am responsible for both these phenomena.)
Now the self-folding plesiosaurs are something that seem to amuse mostly me (like Mad Tea Parties and eeevil robots) but I like to bring them back up every now and again. They spawned during a conversation where I insisted everyone talk in haiku. (See above about my brain.) For some reason or other, someone sent me a picture of a plesiosaur (specifically of the Elasmosauridae family) in a living room, and we had a long discussion on how it had gotten in, and somehow decided that it had been folded up to accomplish the feat, and perhaps it had even folded itself.
Someday I will figure out how to sell self-folding plesiosaurs and all my money woes will be a thing of the past.
Anyway, on that note – know any good jokes?